By Rick Zomer, Executive Director of ThereforeGo Ministries
Earlier this month, I was a part of a group of 35 individuals invited by the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) to come to Pasadena, CA to discuss findings from their most recent research initiative. Their project is focused on discipleship initiatives with young adults, and FYI’s goal for the event was to share initial findings with church, denominational, non-profit, and young adults from different contexts. I was honored to be included in this event as it clearly aligns with ThereforeGo’s mission statement to help “churches challenge youth and emerging adults to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and transform this world for him.”
I’ve been in my role with ThereforeGo for 5+ years and in that time, I’ve had the privilege of meeting with hundreds of church leaders across the United States and Canada. While each interaction is unique, I can say without hesitation that there are two shared themes that have emerged from these conversations. The first is that many churches are struggling to maintain and/or build connections with emerging adults in their congregational contexts and the second is that many churches feel alone or isolated in this process.
While I believe that FYI’s research is important, upon reflection I would say hearing their findings wasn’t my biggest takeaway from the event in Pasadena. My learning can best be summed up by two words: “hope” and “collaboration.” By showing up, the leaders who gathered in Pasadena demonstrated hope that the church can be a place where emerging adults and their gifts are welcomed. By gathering with others, they demonstrated that learning happens best through collaboration as it gives the opportunity to hear and learn from others.
I encourage you to spend a few moments reviewing our website for ways your congregation might collaborate with ThereforeGo and other churches in our shared ministry to youth and emerging adults. We’d be happy to connect to answer questions or talk about next steps.